Are you looking for a coordinated therapy service where occupational therapists, psychologists and speech pathologists work together for your child? If your child needs to see single, or multiple professionals in a place they can feel comfortable and be understood then Talking Matters is one of the few paediatric practices that can achieve this for them. One call is all that is needed to organise all of your child's speech pathology, psychology and occupational therapy appointments. Our team work together with parents to help children and their families reach each child's individual goals. We know the goals, challenges and strengths are different and need special planning for each child and their family.

What is occupational therapy?

Paediatric occupational therapists help children participate in every day activities by working with the child, their family and others in the child's environment. Occupational therapists assist children to develop skills, achieve greater independence and support their participation in developmentally appropriate activities.

Children learn better when they receive help with:

    • occupational-therapy-fun-motorskills-enjoy
    • regulation and attention
    • fine motor skills
    • gross motor skills
    • coordination and positioning
    • sensory processing (touch, taste, smell, sound, vision, balance and proprioception)
    • self esteem and anxiety management
    • play
    • sleeping and toileting issues

Who should see an occupational therapist?

Your child may need to see an occupational therapist for assistance if they have difficulties with developing skills across a range of areas.  Often children who have speech or language difficulties need help with in one or more of the areas listed below.  If your child is experiencing difficulties early assistance and support makes a real difference and gives your child the best possible chance of overcoming these challenges.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor tasks are the tasks which require careful control of movements, usually involving the hands.  Activities such as cutting, drawing, writing, threading, building, doing puzzles and so on all require fine motor skills.  Problems with fine motor skills can lead to problems with handwriting and daily activitiles such as using cutlery, doing up buttons and tying shoelaces.

Gross Motor Skills 

Gross motor tasks are the tasks that use whole body movements such as sitting, walking, crawling and climbing.  Skills such as balance and maintaining a stable posture are important for focus and being able to do fine motor tasks. children who need occupational therapy

Sensory Processing 

Sensory processing is the way in which a child makes sense of messages from their senses of vision, hearing, smell, touch, taste and movement. Children need to focus on what is important sensory information and ignore what is not.  Some children are under-sensitive to messages from their senses and so may seek out more stimulation by constantly moving, touching or mouthing things.  Others are over-sensitive to their senses and find it hard to ignore unimportant sensations of sound, movement, touch or visual information that others can block out.  This may make it hard for them to focus and they may become distracted and irritable or they may try to avoid situations where they feel overstimulated.

Activities of Daily Living

Occupational therapists also assist children who are experiencing challenges with their activities of daily living.  This may include assisting with eating,settling to sleep, toileting, dressing and grooming.  They also assists with skills to assist with their learning, such as attention, concentration, posture control, pencil skills, memory skills and visual perception.  Skills such as pretend and imaginative play, social play and imitation are also critical to children's development and are areas in which an occupational therapist can work with children and their families. 

Contact us by phoning (08) 8255 7137 to arrange an appointment where we can help you to organise the assistance your child needs to be successful.  

There is more information in the occupational therapy articles category on the Talking Matters blog

There is a useful video here about Sensory Integration and some of the things an occupational therapist can help with.

 

 

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